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Approximately 7 Hours
"The Hypogeum is an enormous subterranean structure excavated circa 2500 BC, using cyclopean rigging to lift huge blocks of coralline limestone. Perhaps originally a sanctuary, it became a necropolis in prehistoric times."
Visiting the Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni on your own requires purchasing tickets months in advance but, today, you have a chance to take advantage of pre-reserved tickets to discover what the Hypogeum is all about. Hypogeum literally means underground, and Hal Saflieni is the oldest underground temple and necropolis ever discovered.
Your tour begins with an overview of the site and an audio-visual presentation. Then, enter the Hypogeum's series of underground chambers, halls and passages on three different levels. The excavated rooms date from the Bronze Age -- 3600 to 2500 BC. The second level features sophisticated stonework and boasts a number of temple-like rooms, including the Oracle Room with its astonishing acoustics, the Decorated Room and the Snake Pit. Art objects and artifacts, including elongated skulls, pottery and figurines found on this level are now on display at the National Museum of Archeology in Valletta.
The megalithic Hagar Qim Temples are stone-age structures that date back more than 6,000 years, predating the pyramids of Egypt. Hagar Qin is among the most ancient sacred sites on Earth. Start your visit with a short audio-visual presentation in the Visitor Center; then, proceed to the temples. Your guide will walk through with you, giving you an insight into these fascinating structures whose purpose is the subject of much debate.
Back in Valletta, your destination is the Malta National Museum of Archeology. The museum is housed in the Auberge de Provence, built in 1571. The museum exhibits art and artifacts discovered at Malta's many prehistoric sites. Museum highlights include The Sleeping Lady statue discovered at the Hypgogeum and a number of Earth goddess fertility figures. There's also a recreation of a Hypogeum burial chamber along with altars and megaliths from the Tarxien Temples.
You will walk to a nearby restaurant for lunch; then, reboard your motorcoach and return to the ship.
Please note: Wear comfortable walking shoes.